Bread and Butter Days
by Trisha Faye
SWEET DELIGHTS FROM THE PAST
I’m sitting here finishing up one of my all-time-favorite sandwiches, pear honey, like my Grandma used to make me. In her honor, this weeks’ Bread and Butter Days column shares a few of her recipes from the 1940’s. Here’s a few oldies, but goodies, compliments of grandma, Bea Jones.
This recipe is handwritten in Grandma Jones’ cookbook. Most of the family, including Bea’s children and her grandchildren, remember this recipe fondly. Bea served this dessert for many years, including taking it to potlucks at the stone church in Glendora. The three Jones sisters, Iona, Helen and Ida, will vouch for how long this dessert has been around, since most likely one of the girls was in the kitchen making it.
1 large cup pineapple
14 graham crackers, crushed fine
1 cup milk
½ pint all-purpose cream (Cool Whip works fine for a more modern version)
Dissolve marshmallows in milk in double boiler. Set aside to cool. Roll graham crackers until crushed fine. Put ½ of the crushed graham crackers in the bottom of a flat bottom pan. Drain pineapple and add to marshmallow mixture. Whip cream with mixer until whipped cream (or use Cool Whip) and fold into marshmallow mixture. Spoon mixture onto crackers and sprinkle remaining graham cracker crumbs on top. Place in refrigerator about 8 hours to chill.
Grandma wrote on a recipe card for me years later that she also used peaches and fruit cocktail instead of the pineapple.
Aunt Melba’s Lemon Cake
Aunt Melba Goss (Grandma Jones’ sister-in-law – she married Grandma’s brother, Sam Goss.) submitted this recipe for a Family Secrets Cookbook many years ago. This recipe is a favorite of several of her nieces and nephews.
1 lemon cake mix
1 cup water
½ cup oil
1 pkg. Lemon jello
Combine above ingredients and beat about 2 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes. Top with glaze.
Glaze: 2 lemons, grate rind and juice them. Add to 2 cups powdered sugar and bring to a boil. Prick hot cake with fork. Pour glaze over top. Serve from pan.
Out of all the recipes and memories of Grandma, this one is my favorite. Pear Honey’s name throws most people off. It’s not a honey, but more like a pear jam. Maybe it’s so sweet and delicious that that’s how it got its name. I remember Grandma making this when I was little. When she moved back to California, after Grandpa died, she gave me the recipe. I have shared many jars of this nectar with the people in my life – when I’m not being stingy and keeping it all for myself.
1 small can crushed pineapple
3 ½ cups sugar
Pare six pears and two apples. Remove seeds and peel.
Peel one orange.
Grind all together.
Add one can of crushed pineapple.
Add 3 ½ cups sugar.
Cook until thick. Seal in jars.
Unless you want to make some hot biscuits, then it may not last long enough to can.
Note: In a pinch, when you MUST make Pear Honey, but pears aren’t in season, a large can of pear halves works just as well.
And now a days I don’t preserve in canning jars. Now, in a more modern tradition, I usually put up in the freezer in several small containers and pull out one at a time as needed.
The good ‘ole days. It’s like creating our own little recipe. Take a large helping of history, add a splash of our own creative mix, and serve with a helping of memories and love.
What’s your favorite recipe from the past? One that touches your heart and reminds you of your loved ones?
Do you have any stories about ‘the good ole days’ that you’d like to share? Contact Trisha Faye at firstname.lastname@example.org